Five Reasons Why One-on-One Maternity Care is Awesome!

In just about every hospital setting, one nurse is assigned several patients to keep an eye on (in our hospital its about 1:4), and there are usually only a few OBs on the floor (in ours, only 2), depending on the size of the hospital. Most women never get to experience the joys of one-on-one care during their birth. This is not the fault of the mother or of her providers- rather, it is simply the fact that hospitals can’t really afford that type of care. But, if you will, imagine with me for a moment the potential rewards of continuous individual care during labor and birth…. Why would one-on-one care be so great?

1) The mother is more likely to relax around her provider. Let’s face it, strangers can be nerve-wracking, especially in a situation such as labor! Having the same person there allows mothers to settle in and feel more comfortable.

2) The mother is more likely to be heard. When a provider has too many clients, he/she is not able to give the mother the time she deserves for questions and concerns.

3) The mother is more likely to have her basic needs met quickly. More ice? An extra pillow or blanket? Help getting to the shower? When nurses are in and out of the room to tend to other patients during labor, mothers often have to wait for assistance for longer periods of time.

4) The mother is more likely to receive extra non-medical care. When a provider isn’t concerned about having to rush off to other patients, he/she may have more time to encourage the mother, help her shift to more comfortable positions, etc.

5) Problems are more likely to be caught quickly. When machines are watching the mother instead of the provider, it is more likely that a) the machines will not function properly and will  miss something (e.g. loose EFM, shifted blood pressure cuff, etc.), or b) the machines will “catch” something that’s not really there (e.g., EFM picking up mother’s heart rate instead of baby’s, etc.). A provider who is dedicated to the mother, on the other hand, can diligently watch for any signs of trouble- either by making sure that the machines function properly, or by using more low-tech methods of care.

I know it’ll be a long time before  this type of care is feasible in most hospitals… but hey, a girl can dream, can’t she? What other reasons for one-on-one care can you think of?


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Michelle on August 9, 2012 at 8:58 am

    I especially like number two. It is so true. If I really want time with my OB I am going to need to schedule it weeks or even months in advance.


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